Mer-cy
[‘mər-sē] noun – Showing compassion and patience; a blessing My-ra [mī-ră] – Wonderful one

“I don’t really remember when it started… I’ve just been singing forever - since I was born. I never really thought about becoming a singer, all I knew is that I loved to sing.”

Mercy Myra

 

Definitely born to sing, Mercy Myra is lauded as Kenya’s leading female R&B artist, often viewed as a female pioneer in the Kenyan music scene from the late nineties to 2005. She truly made her mark with a string of hits from her single Malo featuring Khaligraph (2017), Feels Like Love featuring VicMass Luo Dollar (2017), two successful CD releases: Taba Samu (2001) and Nyisri Malong’o (2003). Favorites like “I’m Gonna Fly”, “Maneno”, “Life”, “Imagine” and “Tie Dero” topped the African music charts. International performances, tours and guest appearances came next, as well as numerous awards and accolades.

Residing in the United States since 2005, the Atlanta-based songstress enjoys experience life and focusing on raising her daughter. She has always kept close ties to music, becoming involved in the burgeoning Atlanta music scene and channeling her life experiences into her singing -- which has always remained close to her heart -- as well as penning lyrics. Listen to Mercy’s current work and you will understand that the powerful talent is still there and the voice, in fact, has become more seasoned and refined with time. At times it is powerful yet playful, sultry yet calming, commanding yet hauntingly beautiful.

Although her music is often categorized as R&B, Mercy prefers to think of it as “Afro-Fusion”, which as she sees it, combines the African world with the Western world via instrumentation, music production and lyrics in various languages. She broke music barriers at a time when the Kenyan music scene was male-dominated and filled mostly with artists who performed “traditional” Kenyan music. As she explains it, “Anything other than traditional music was considered ‘alternative’ and I was categorized as alternative/R&B. Several artists at the time performed traditional music from their tribes and in their native dialects. They also performed in Swahili, but it was still considered traditional music.”

She has the ability to easily lace together lyrics in English, Swahili and Luo (her native dialect), as well as French and Dutch. These are often interwoven with African, Jazz, Pop, Spanish and Hip-Hop rhythms, among other Western sounds. “Music is an international language … I don’t have to understand all the words,” she says with a slight chuckle.

From an early age Mercy was encouraged to sing in the church choir and during family gatherings. She comes from a talented family of singers and musicians who have always supported her musical efforts. “As a child, I was privileged to have a lot of music always being played in our house. My mom was a music lover who collected music of all genres. We weren’t allowed to choose just one style of music.”

Her other musical influences run the gamut, from African queens such as Miriam Makeba, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Angelique Kidjo, to European and American artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Millie Jackson, Luther Vandross, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Sade and India Arie. “I would love to collaborate with India,” she says excitedly. “Her vocals take me to heaven … that’s how angelic I feel her voice is.”

Remaining true to her name, Mercy has certainly blessed fans with her soulful voice and stunning stage presence, and she has also exercised much patience in her journey to reach that ultimate goal of sharing her talent with a world-wide audience.

Mercy Myra Awards and Achievements

  • 2017 MALO single featuring Khaligraph released
  • 2017 FEELS LIKE LOVE featuring VicMass Luo Dollar released
  • 2016 Mercy signs a new deal with Atlanta-based label Nu Royal Records, collaborating with Grammy Award winning producer, Herman Little
  • 2015 Mercy featured on two tracks on Atlanta jazz band Rhythm Jets' album VELOCITY
  • 2013 BACK HOME single
  • 2013 recorded lead vocals and background vocals on India Arie's song THY WILL BE DONE also featuring GRAMPS MORGAN.
  • 2013 Performed at the KENYA AT 50 Celebrations 2013 as part of the musicians who changed the face of music in Kenya
  • 2011 AFRIKAN TANGO single and music video
  • 2009 Won Best Female Artist category at the MSANII AWARDS, honoring US based Kenyan musicians.
  • 2007 Performed with DIVAS OF THE NILE super group at the Festival Mundial 2007
  • 2006 Performed at the 2006 Seven A Side Rugby Tournament in Los Angeles.
  • 2002, 2003 2004 and 2005 Performed at Festival Mundial in Tilburg, the Netherlands to crowds of 10,000+ festival visitors from all over Europe and the world.
  • 2004 Performed in various concerts abroad, including the 2004 ZIFF Festival (Zanzibar International Film Festival)
  • 2003 2nd album NYISRI MALONG'O
  • 2003 KORA AWARDS Nominee Best East African Female Vocalist
  • 2003 KISIMA AWARDS R&B Artist of the Year
  • 2003 Recorded and performed a song for The Royal Dutch Government with the Dutch rock band AKDA EN DE MUNNINK. Song DAT I NOOIT DE AVOND ZAG for a water project in Kisumu, Kenya.
  • 2003 Performed at the 1st FACE OF AFRICA (similar to Miss World Pageant)
  • 2003-2007 Joined DIVAS OF THE NILE super group, that featured four Kenyan female musicians Mercy Myra, Suzanna Owiyo, Achieng Abura and Princess Jully.
  • 2001, 2002 and 2003 Best Female Vocalist Award and performances at CHAGUO LA TEENIEZ AWARDS
  • 2001, 2002 Nominated, won and performed at the KISIMA awards (Kenyan music awards) Best Female Vocalist and Best Song (Songs Sitaki, Tie Dero, Waongo, Nyisri Malong'o and Imagine/Sauti)
  • 2001 Songs MANENO and WAONGO enjoyed 15 consecutive weeks at #1 on KAYA FM’s top 100 charts (one of South Africa’s top radio stations)
  • 2001 1st album TABASAMU
  • 1999 Performed at the 1st FACE OF AFRICA (similar to Miss World Pageant)
  • 1998 Performed for THE GOLDEN TONES BENSON AND HEDGES FESTIVAL in Lagos Nigeria to a crowd of 60,000+

Mercy Myra has also performed with and shared stages with African and International stars - Saif Keita, Baaba Mal, Youssou Ndour, Angelique Kidjo, Papa Wemba, Koffi Olomide, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Shaggy, Lost Boyz, Lokua Kanza and Life Chris just to name a few.